From: Chef/co-owner Jason W. Knutson, 5 O'Clock Club, Pewaukee, WI. Yield: 4 sandwiches.
8 thick slices of rustic bread
8 ounces baked ham, thinly sliced
4 oz. Grand Cru Gruyère, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 cup Mornay sauce, warmed (recipe follows)
Mornay Sauce (yields approximately 2 cups):
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1½ cups hot milk
dash of ground nutmeg
dash ground cloves
to taste, salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 bay leaf
4 oz. Grand Cru Gruyère, shredded
For panini: Layer ham on four slices of bread; top with Grand Cru Gruyère and remaining bread slices. Spread butter on the outside of each sandwich and grill on a panini press or griddle until bread is lightly browned and cheese is fully melted.
While sandwiches are cooking, heat remaining butter in a skillet and fry eggs until “over medium.”
Preheat broiler. Top each sandwich with a fried egg and ⅓ cup Mornay sauce. Broil sandwich for 2-3 minutes and serve immediately.
For Mornay sauce: Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow mixture to brown.
Remove saucepan from heat, add hot milk, and whisk vigorously until smooth. Whisk in nutmeg, cloves, salt and pepper, add bay leaf, and return saucepan to stove. Simmer sauce for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and stir in Grand Cru Gruyère. Whisk sauce until cheese is fully melted.